Mikel Arteta playing key role in Arsenal transfer plans after 'phonecall' to £21m target – Football News

Mikel Arteta playing key role in Arsenal transfer plans after 'phonecall' to £21m target

Mikel Arteta is keen to get on with business this summer. (Image: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has taken a front-seat role in Arsenal’s transfer business, with the Gunners boss having reportedly phone-called one transfer target.

Mikel Merino is believed to be high up on Arsenal’s radar, as the Premier League runners-up look to bolster their midfield options.

Merino has starred for Real Sociedad in La Liga and the 28-year-old’s performances have caught the attention of big clubs across the continent.

Alongside Arsenal, it’s also believed Barcelona are eyeing up a move for the 28-year-old, but Arteta’s proactive approach is designed to give the Premier League side the upper hand.

Reports from Spain have suggested that Arteta is determined to land Merino this summer, so much so he’s already contacted the player personally.

Arteta contacted him to lay out his plans for the midfield anchor, with Merino believed to be tempted by the possible Emirates Stadium move.

And given Merino’s relatively low price tag – £21million – it’s a deal that Arsenal should be able to see over the line quite comfortably.

What’s more, because of Barcelona’s uncertain financial situation, the Premier League runners-up are keen to move fast and secure Merino’s signature.

Spain v Croatia: Group B - UEFA EURO 2024

Mikel Merino is currently on international duty with Spain at Euro 2024. (Image: Getty)

Spain v Italy: Group B - UEFA EURO 2024

Arsenal are also said to be keen on Nico Williams. (Image: Getty)

It comes as a summer shake-up is expected at the capital club, as Arteta and co. attempt to bridge the gap between themselves and four-in-a-row champions Manchester City.

And it seems Merino isn’t the only La Liga star Arsenal are keeping tabs on, with Euro 2024 ace Nico Williams also garnering plenty of attention.

The Spanish winger has been one of the standout players from the early rounds of European Championship action and could be on the move for as little as £43million.

Williams – who plays for Athletic Club in Spain – has three years left to run on his contract, but his release clause, coupled with his performances in Germany, is likely to get tails wagging among Europe’s elite this summer.

However, it isn’t all sunshine and roses for the La Roja star, with Williams’ reported wage demands believed to be higher than most of Arsenal’s big-name players.

It’s suggested should Williams put pen to paper on a move to Arsenal, his salary would be the second-highest in the Arsenal squad – more than Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Martin Odegaard earn.

Adding Williams, no matter how talented he is, to Arsenal’s ranks could risk upsetting the harmony within the dressing room – something Arteta will have to be wary of.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1914806/Mikel-Arteta-phonecall-transfer-plans-Arsenal-Mikel-Merino